MY DEEPEST AND MOST SINCEREST APOLOGIES FOR TAKING FOREVER TO UPDATE. HAVING WRITER'S BLOCK, SUCKS!
DISCLAIMER: *clears throat* Despite wanting to own Prince of Tennis, I can't. I don't own it now and never will I own it.
This chapter will be extra long for those who have been waiting patiently for the update. My deepest apologies and thanks for the continued support. Further more, a bit of OOCness doesn't harm.
Chapter 16- Meet My Family
Ryuzaki-sensei came to the first aid tent with Sakaki-sensei to see how Choutaro was fairing. However, they didn't expect to see what they did. Ryuzaki Sumire never thought that she would get to see the said rookie in such a state during his time at Seigaku. Good thing Sakaki was fast enough to stop himself and her from entering the tent all the way. "Otori-kun? Are you alright?" she asked from behind the door flap. "I am, Ryuzaki-sensei. Please come in." answered the boy from the inside. When they did enter the tent, Ryoma was not sitting on the chair by the foot of the bed. Ryuzaki and Sakaki managed to keep their faces straight.
"Good to see you cleaned up and bandaged, Otori-kun." She said and smiled. Choutaro slowly sat up and Ryoma instantly moved to help him. "Be careful you." Ryoma hissed at him which made Choutaro chuckle. "I am." Choutaro defended with a smile. "We came to inform you both that tomorrow, we'll be having the finals tomorrow, and we hope that you would be alright by then. We'll try to place your game last so you can rest up longer." Ryuzaki-sensei said and smiled. "Thank you, Ryuzaki-sensei, Sakaki-sensei." Choutaro said and bowed.
The coaches left and Ryoma turned back to Choutaro, "Want to walk me home?" Ryoma said as he looked at Choutaro. He didn't even know what made him ask but it was too late to take it back since he already said it. Choutaro was in shock for a second then smiled lovingly, "Of course I would." He answered and they both exited the first aid tent.
Everyone had left while the coaches spoke to Choutaro, not really knowing that Ryoma was with him. Atobe, Tezuka, and Yukimura hadn't seen the rookie since he ran off in the middle of Choutaro and Fuji's match.
When the pair had left the school grounds, they were walking silently to Ryoma's house. Choutaro was still covered with bandages but he was trying not to be in pain at the moment. It was rare that he got to spend time with Ryoma and walk him home. It was half way through the journey when Ryoma held Choutaro's hand without looking at the other. Choutaro turned to look at Ryoma and their intertwined hands before smiling and went back to walking. They didn't need to speak because the silence that engulfed them was comforting enough.
When they were outside Ryoma's house, none of the two noticed that Ryoma's cousin was following them home. They must have been really caught up in their thoughts together that none noticed her at all. "This is were I live. I would invite you inside but I don't know if the people would appreciate a surprise guest." Ryoma said as he pulled back his hand to scratch the back of his neck. "I haven't started to cook dinner yet so its alright. We always have room for one more, ne Ryoma-san." Nanako said as she walked passed the two who looked like they were caught killing someone.
She turned to open the gate for the other two, "I'm Nanako, Ryoma-san's cousin. You do not seem to go to Seigaku judging by your uniform." She inquired with a soft smile on her face. Ryoma was turning a bright shade of red. He was thinking how long Nanako had been following them. Choutaro shook his head, "I'm from Hyotei Gakuen. My name is Ootori Choutaro. Nice to meet you, Nanako-san." He said with a smile and bowed. "Oh my, what a wonder boy you are, Ootori-san. Please come in. I'm sure Ryoma-san's mother and father are home as well." She said as she opened the doors to the house.
Choutaro knew that he was meeting Ryoma's family earlier than he should. And for Ryoma, there was no turning back since Nanako had already said that Choutaro could stay for dinner.
"Tadaima." Nanako greeted. "Okari Nanako-chan.. Are? Ryoma? Your home early. And you brought a friend as well. Welcome to our home. I'm Echizen Rinko, Ryoma's mother. You are?" she said as she ushered her son's guest inside their house and towards the living room. "Good evening, Echizen Rinko-san. My name is Ootori Choutaro. I'm from Hyotei Gakuen. Thank you for having me in such short notice. Nanako-san insisted that it was alright." He said and bowed. "Of course it's alright. You're the first friend Ryoma brought home and its more surprising that your from a different school as well. And if Nanako said that its alright, then it is. We always have room for one more." Rinko said with a smile.
By the time, Ryoma had wished the ground to open up and swallow him whole. "Ryoma, why don't you take Ootori-kun up to your room while we cook dinner. We'll call you when we're done." Rinko suggested and pulled her niece with her towards the kitchen. Ryoma was mortified to see his mother and cousin act the way they just did. He shook his head, grabbed Choutaro's hand, and pulled him upstairs to his room. Luckily, he was a clean freak like his mother and cousin. Though he had posters of tennis on his walls, there were also posters of bands that he liked as well.
Choutaro was amazed at how organized and clean Ryoma's room was. There was four been bags to the wall, a window that faced the street, a study table that was neatly kept, a bed that was fixed except for the Himalayan cat that was rolling on the sheets. He chuckled and petted Karupin who melted in Choutaro's fingers. "She's beautiful." The blond commented. "Thank you. Her name is Karupin by the way. Usually it takes a while for her to like a stranger." Ryoma said as he placed his tennis bag at the foot of his study table. "Do you mind if I take a shower for a few minutes?" he asked which earned him a no from the older one.
While Ryoma showered, Choutaro was exploring the small bedroom. Though the bed could fit two people if they sleep close to each other, it was smaller than his own. But the was because he was given more than he wanted. Though he appreciated the things his parents did for him, he had wished several times that they would ask him first before they bought him things. He lay beside the cat and she moved closer to him. Her purring made Choutaro chuckle and close his eyes. He soft fur brushed his face which made his fall asleep right on Ryoma's bed.
After his shower, Ryoma came out dress and wondered why Choutaro was quiet. He nearly wanted to laugh when he saw that his guest had fallen asleep on his bed. "I'm not surprised that he fell asleep. After facing Fuji-sempai and having those scratches, he must be really tired." Ryoma thought to himself. Karupin had moved to the window sill which gave Ryoma room to move Choutaro to a better sleeping position. He took out his phone and took a picture of the peacefully sleeping blond before attempting to move the guest.
However, as gentle as Ryoma could, Choutaro wouldn't budge. The other was still heavier than himself and without warning, the sleeping blond had grabbed Ryoma and pulled him down next to him. The rookie had not yelped or yelled which was a feat because he would have screamed if someone had grabbed him. Choutaro had wrapped his arms around Ryoma's waist and buried his face on the rookie's chest. The said rookie didn't know what to do at first but then slowly placed his hands on Choutaro's head, wrapping them protectively.
A smile had graced Ryoma's face as he took closed his eyes to rest for a bit.
Nearly an hour later, Nanako came up the stairs and knocked on the door. "Ryoma-san, dinners ready." She didn't open the door just in case Ryoma and his friend were busy talking or something. She heard a mumble that she thought was a 'yes' and she smiled, leaving them to walk down to the dinner table.
Ryoma stirred and saw that he was still wrapped in Choutaro's arms. He tried to wiggle his way out but ended up waking the blond boy. "Uhm… Choutaro? Dinner's ready." Ryoma said, trying not to blush as Choutaro was nuzzling his chest. Then Choutaro's eyes widen and instantly he sat up. He fidgeted and looked around embarrassingly. "I am so sorry… I must have fallen asleep. I'm so sorry, Ryoma." He apologized. The younger shook his head, "It's fine. You had a tough match against Fuji-sempai. Come on. Before my cousin and mother think that I'm doing despicable things to my first guest." Ryoma teased as Choutaro turned a bright shade of pink.
When they got down, Rinko and Nanako were taking their seats, and leaving the other side for Ryoma and his friend. Nanjirou was coming into the house from the temple when he saw his son and a guest sitting down. "Oh, we have a guest. Ryoma's finally bringing friends over." He said as he took his seat. "I'm Echizen Nanjirou. Welcome." He greeted as he took his chopsticks and said with thanksgiving for the meal. Choutaro was stunned. He was having dinner with Ryoma's family and that one of the member's was Samurai Nanjirou himself. "My name is Ootori, Choutaro. Nice to meet you, Echizen Nanjirou-san." Choutaro said and bowed. "Just call me Nanjirou. You don't seem to be from Seigaku. I'm surprised my antisocial son has friends outside of his tennis club." Nanjirou teased.
Ryoma wanted to protest but he couldn't find his voice. "I'm from Hyotei Gakuen, Nanjirou-san. And your son has friends from all over. He even has friend from Shitenhoji and Higa-chuu." He said with a smile. "Well, that's something we don't hear everyday. So, how did you meet my son? Through tennis I'm sure." He said as he began to eat. "Well, my team had face Seigaku many times but I met Ryoma first hand in front of the soda vending machine in Seigaku." Choutaro said confidently which made Nanjirou, Rinko, and Nanako chuckle.
"No surprise there then. I bet Ryoma-san was getting a can on Ponta." Nanako said and Choutaro nodded. Ryoma was nearly quiet the whole time and watched in awe as Choutaro charmed his family. Before the dinner was over, they heard the door slide open and close. "Tadiama!" a deep voice called out. They waited for the unknown person to appear. "Hey guys!" Ryoga said as he smiled at his family. Nanjirou and Rinko stood up instantly and hugged their son. "Oh my Ryoga! Why didn't you say you were coming?" Nanjirou asked happily.
Nanako had stood up to leave and acquire a seat for her cousin when Ryoga stopped her. "Don't move a muscle Nanako. I can get a chair for myself. I'll be right back." He said and left the dining to grab a chair from the sitting area outside. He came back and sat between Ryoma and Nanako. "Oh? We have a guest? You my chibisuke's boyfriend?" Ryoga asked instantly and with a smile that made Ryoma choke on his rice. Instantly Choutaro helped Ryoma while Nanjirou fainted in shock. Nanako had stood up to pour Ryoma a glass of water which Choutaro guided to the rookie's lips.
"What? Did I say something wrong?" When Ryoma was alright again, he gave his older brother death glare daggers. "Ryoga no baka! Choutaro is not my boyfriend. His just a friend." Ryoma said. A friend for now? Nanjirou woke up and hugged his youngest son, "I'm so happy to hear that brat! I always dreamed of having a cute daughter-in-law." He said which sent a tick on Rinko's forehead. She grabbed her husband and made him sit back down. "Please behave yourself Nanjirou, we have a guest." Her smiled set shivers up everyone's spine.
"Besides, if our son decides that he likes boys rather than girls, I see no reason for him to not to do so. Besides, they can adopt if they want kids." She said with made Ryoma want to either faint due to embarrassment or vanish from the face of the world. However, Choutaro looked at Ryoma's mother carefully. "You mean it would not matter to you if Ryoma dated m- a guy?" he asked. He always said 'me'. Rinko caught the change but nodded. "As long as my son is happy, that I am happy as well." She said with earned nods from Nanako and Ryoga.
"Besides, I know my Chibisuke would choose right. And if I'm right, you better not hurt him or I will hurt you." Ryoga said as he gave his support and his warning as a protective brother. Ryoma took a deep breath and sigh. "Choutaro and I aren't dating yet and you all are saying—" "The key word being 'yet', Chibisuke." Ryoga inserted. Ryoma shook his head to focus, "You really won't care if I'll date a guy?" he asked himself. Rinko, Nanako, and Ryoga shook their heads. Nanjirou sighed, "As long as your happy then its fine." He said with a smile which made Ryoma smile at his family.
Dessert was filled with questions. Ryoga kept asking Choutaro what he saw in Ryoma and how far will he go to pursue the antisocial rookie, Choutaro simply smiled. "I cannot say what I saw in him. There were just too many to list them. And I'd fight off everyone else for him." Ryoma stopped eating and turned to look at the blond beside him who smiled at him.
After dinner, Choutaro bid everyone a good night and thanked them for the wonderful dinner. Ryoma said that he was going to bring Choutaro to the bus stop but he knew Choutaro had already texted his driver to pick him up. As they walked to the bus stop, Ryoma was more quiet than ever. They sat on the seats, waiting for the car to arrive. "Did you mean what you said? What you told my brother and my family?" he asked out of the blue. Choutaro didn't have to turn to look at him. He held Ryoma's hand in his and smiled at the night sky.
"Of course. I did tell you how much I care for you. I had been lucky enough to have had your attention for most of the day and I got luckier to have met your parents and tell them how much I want you and how much I care for you." Choutaro said as he squeezed Ryoma's hand lightly. Ryoma turned to Choutaro and smiled. "Thank you. No one has ever said that to me before." Choutaro turned and held Ryoma's gaze. His eyes were like deep pools of gold. Choutaro felt like he could drown himself in them every time he looked into them.
He didn't notice it but he slowly began to lean closer to Ryoma. The other found himself moving closer as well. It seemed that the world had stopped and that there was no one else but them. When their lips were only a few centimeters away, Choutaro's car honked which made them pull away instantly. Both stood up and looked flushed. "W-well… I.. Thanks for dinner. Please thank your family once again for their warm welcome." He said as he shifted his bag on his shoulder. "Yeah, I'll tell them. I'll see you tomorrow." Ryoma said. As Choutaro turned to enter his car, Ryoma grabbed his arm, placed a kiss on the blond's cheek, and ran home.
Choutaro was surprised for a few moments, placing his hand on his cheek. When Ryoma was no longer in site, he got into his car and went home. Looking back at the events that day, Choutaro had faced the famed Seigaku tensai and even won. He walked Ryoma home, met his cousin and his mother, saw the rookie's room and even fell asleep on it. He woke up with his arms wrapped around Ryoma, had dinner with his family. Met Ryoma's father who was Samurai Nanjirou. Also met Ryoga, the older brother. And found out that his family didn't care if Ryoma dated a guy. And to cap it all off, Ryoma had kissed his cheek. Yup, Choutaro had indeed been lucky.
A/N: Read and review, my good people. You reviews matter to me! ^_^